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Richard A. Potts

by Susan J. Ainsworth
July 5, 2010 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 88, Issue 27

Richard A. Potts, 70, an emeritus professor of chemistry at the University of Michigan, Dearborn, died on May 27 of complications due to liposarcoma.

Born in Massillon, Ohio, Potts received a B.A. in chemistry from Hiram College, in Ohio, in 1962 and a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from Northwestern University in 1966. He then participated in a yearlong postdoctoral fellowship at Iowa State University under John Corbett.

Potts began his career teaching chemistry at the University of Michigan, Dearborn, becoming a full professor there in 1973. During his 33 years at the university, he earned both an Outstanding Service Award and the Alumni Society’s Faculty Member of the Year Award in 1994, and was named Michigan College Teacher of the Year by the Michigan Science Teachers Association in 2000. Earlier this year, alumni established a scholarship fund in Potts’s name.

He joined ACS in 1961, receiving the Detroit Section’s Distinguished Service Award in 1986 and its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000. He also received the ACS Region II Director’s Award in 1995.

He won numerous awards for tree farming on the Millersburg, Ohio, property he purchased with his father and brother in 1957.

Potts is survived by his wife of 44 years, Carol; and son, Alan.


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